In a seminar room on an Ivy League campus, I sat across from earnest, and anxious college seniors. In a few months, they would leave the classic tree-lined campus, the football games, and the overflowing cafeterias where food magically appears three times a day. I had arranged the meeting to find out what these “emerging adults” desperately wanted to learn about work and careerfrom their elders (as I was about to embark on interviews of the advice for living of hundreds of these “oldest and wisest Americans”).
Sitting with these students on a bright spring morning, I anticipated that they would want to hear about the elders’ success strategies, tips for getting ahead, and suggestions for landing a high-paying, dream job. So I was taken aback by the first question. It came from Josh, a future money manager. He asked: